Screening your Floors – Reinvigorating a Timeless Feature
We’ve all had those days where we’ve been walking around our home, and thinking about how to bring some energy back to lifeless rooms. A number of possible options run through your mind, each with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, and there are no easy answers. Paint or wallpaper? Or both? Minimalist or traditional? Practical or chic? However, if you find yourself looking down at a tired, worn wooden floor, perhaps one possible answer is staring back at you.
Sanded wooden floors offer a lot of major benefits to your home. They are incredibly easy to keep clean, needing only to be swept and occasionally washed. The add a certain warm, homely quality to any room, and make use of an attractive original feature, a real boon if you were to ever wish to sell your home. However, if your floor has begun to show signs of wear and tear, perhaps water marks, divots, or just the sort of general damage floors take over time, there may be a less invasive option than sanding your floor back to its original wood.
Screening is essentially a process of light machine sanding, which means that the top layer of finish or varnish is removed without actually taking anything off the wood itself, allowing you to apply a new finish with minimal fuss or mess. This involves using an industrial floor polisher armed with an oscillating sandpaper disc, ideally with a grit between 60 and 100. Anything higher will not achieve the desired effect, so it is always advisable to use the correct grit, and to have an increasing gradient of discs. If you are unsure, ask a professional when hiring the equipment as they will be able to point you in the right direction for your particular needs.
As with all wooden sanding, make sure to take appropriate safety measures, including clearing the room, and ideally wearing a mask. Screening should create far less dust, but what little it does can still be harmful if breathed in. It is also a good idea, if possible, to practice on a lesser seen area before screening the whole floor, just to make sure you are confident with the power and speed of the floor polisher.
Is screening right for all floors?
It should be mentioned that screening will not be a viable option for everyone, as it will only work on floors that have a polyurethane finish, and although this is fairly common, it is certainly worth consulting a professional for clarification before undertaking any work on your floor. Some floors will need more work, and may require a full sanding, but if it is just the finish that has lost its lustre, and you want to give your floor back some of its vigour and style, screening may be the best option.